EXCLUSIVE: The ex-wife of American yacht captain Ryan Bane revealed new allegations about his alleged abusive past a month after his British girlfriend Sarm Heslop disappeared after a night out at a bar in the US Virgin Islands.
Corie Stevenson told Fox News Thursday that she had lost her temper “dozens of times” with her daughter Grace, then a preteen, and that it got so bad she couldn’t leave them alone when she went to class or work.
“I couldn’t leave Ryan home alone with Grace, because it would be so mean to her,” he said.
In one case, Stevenson said that Grace, now 20, was 8 or 11 years old. Bane had sent her upstairs to find a television remote, according to Stevenson. But the girl did not find it and went back down to tell him.
He allegedly got mad and yelled in her face when he found it himself.
“He got so mad he went upstairs, pulling her with him, picking her up and throwing her on the bed,” Stevenson said. “There are a lot of cases like that that I didn’t hear about until a little later. Grace didn’t say anything for quite a while.”
Bane’s attorney told Fox News on Thursday that “they are not making any additional comments at this time.”
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On another occasion, Stevenson said her ex-husband gave the girl, then 10, a sling. The mother wanted to establish some house rules, including not using it indoors and not shooting animals, but Bane ignored her concerns, she said.
Then one day when Stevenson came home from a grocery store, he said he walked in and found Bane yelling at his daughter, who had splattered a sticky toy on a sliding glass door.
“I mean the red face, the vein sticking out of his neck, screaming insane,” he said. “I walked in and Grace was standing there crying hysterically, and I was like, ‘What the hell just happened?'”
“He was like, ‘She could have broken the window,'” Stevenson said. “I was crazy. I grabbed her and left the house.”
When the couple divorced, Stevenson said Bane took his daughter’s dog, Hunter, with whom he was photographed as recently as last month in the Virgin Islands.
According to Stevenson’s version of events, Bane had violated a restraining order and called the police. An officer accidentally let the dog run away from the house, and Bane has had it ever since.
As Fox News previously reported, Bane was jailed for beating Stevenson in 2011 after a drunken night at a wedding, and later had his probation revoked for violating the terms of his release.
Stevenson married Bane in 2008, and the two divorced in 2014. She told Fox News that he was verbally and physically abusive and could lose his temper quickly, especially with women.
But there were signs of trouble long before the chaotic split, Stevenson said.
“When we had alcohol in the house, he drank it until it was gone,” he alleged. “Pills the same way.”
She also alleged that on more than one occasion she killed wildlife that she had been feeding in her garden.
She told Fox News in March that he had killed a friendly squirrel in her backyard and left it in the freezer for her to find. On another occasion, he said that he shot and killed a fawn and tried to feed it to him, allegedly knowing that she had been leaving food for him.
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When she learned that he had briefly raised anchor and left Frank Bay, where his ship, the Siren Song, had been moored during Heslop’s disappearance, Stevenson said she immediately began carrying a pistol with her at all times. And he said that he had slept with a shotgun by his side during the divorce proceedings.
“I have my bearing hidden, usually I don’t have my gun,” he said. “But since this started, I am in myself every day. Wherever I go, I am with me.”
Bane, a licensed pilot, could discreetly travel almost anywhere, he claimed.
Stevenson has said he hopes that by sharing his story he can add urgency to the missing person’s case.
Bane reported that Heslop disappeared early in the morning of March 8. She was last seen in public with Bane at a bar on St. John in the US Virgin Islands the night before.
After calling 911 to say that she had disappeared from the 47-foot catamaran around 2:30 a.m., police said they ordered her to contact the US Coast Guard for a search and rescue. Supposedly he waited approximately 10 hours to do that.
Bane has refused to allow investigators to search Siren Song and police have not identified him as a suspect. The US Coast Guard boarded the ship, but Bane allegedly prevented service members from searching the cabin, resulting in a series of subpoenas.
Stevenson, who met Bane as a child and attended the same high school, said the fact that the police didn’t search the boat is “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
“Looking for the last place they knew the girl was, I think it would be one of the first things they would do,” he said.
Investigators in the Virgin Islands have repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether they are seeking a search warrant for the Siren Song or whether Bane is considered a person of interest, citing the ongoing investigation.
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However, Jerry Forrester, a former FBI agent and private investigator who specialized in the Caribbean, said it shouldn’t be difficult to establish probable cause and obtain a search warrant for the last place where a missing person was seen.
“I think they have enough probable cause,” he told Fox News last week. “She’s missing, and she was on that ship … They just aren’t doing their job.”
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Anyone with information on Heslop’s whereabouts should contact the US Virgin Islands Police Department.